Fostering a Love of the Outdoors
I am not an outdoorsy person, but ironically, I am raising one. As many moms and dads I’m sure can relate, it takes a lot of persuasion and most times ultimately tears, to get our toddler to come inside, no matter the weather.
Our son’s love of the outdoors is one of my favorite parts of his personality because it reminds me of my dad. (He’s in his 60s and enjoys going canoeing and camping often – even during our chilly northeast winters!)
This special connection Cab has with the outdoors is something my husband and I make every effort to help encourage:
His bookshelf is filled with books about outdoor adventures and objects one sees in nature. I have read some of these books more times than I would like to admit and yet, each time I turn the page Cab is excited to point something out or connect spoken word with image.
While we work full time we also try and make outdoor time a priority. A few days a week after work, and before dinner, we will take Cab for walks in our backyard, which abuts a wooded area. Just recently, Cab has gotten brave enough to cross over the line from grass to woods as he is interested in walking on an old stone wall on the property line. During these walks Cab takes the lead and always comes back with a hand full of items to show Mommy. On the weekends, we take family hikes at nearby parks, search out the best playgrounds, and let Cab run free at the local football field. Recently, we even dipped our toes into the cold Atlantic on an unseasonably warm April day.
We are conscious of giving Cab all the knowledge we can; if he scans the sky in the day looking for the moon, we explain the reason why he won’t see it. If he points to a tree, we tell him the type of tree it is. We find that sharing these extra descriptors is no different than the detail his teachers go into each day in the classroom and makes him more likely to ask additional questions and stay excited about what he is learning.
I, for one, am excited for the warm weather months. While the summer heat is not my favorite, I can’t wait to give Cab even more chances to explore the outdoors this year. Going to the beach, renting a lake house, visiting local outdoor fairs are all adventures I get to experience as new again through the eyes of my outdoor-loving toddler.
I am Aili, a first-time mom and lover of cloth diapers and cute baby fashion. As an avid bargain shopper who will stand in line to snag the right deal, if I’m not searching out an outfit for my little man, you can find me in the home décor. I am excited to share with you all my mishaps and successes as I navigate this thing called parenting.
Read more from Aili including Transition from the Infant to Toddler Room at Daycare.
- E-family news: Children & Nature – A Winning Combination
- E-family news: Explore Your World – Fun Nature Walks for Families
- The Family Room: Hiking with Kids: Tips & Tricks